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Wednesday, 26 February

House of Mirrors and Tilt Machines

Two buildings on the other side of the Atlantic were in the news over the weekend.

It was reported that the Shard's Shangri-La hotel has rooms that 'benefit' from reflections from other rooms thanks to the mirroring properties of the floor to ceiling glass panels that form the structure of the building. Meanwhile, the John Hancock Building (pictured) in Chicago was showing-off its latest tourist attraction - The Tilt, a window with room for eight that (as its name suggests) tilts users over the edge of the building's already established viewing platform.

The Shangri-La's rooms have just started to open for (very expensive) occupancy with the remainder to open as the year moves on. the restaurant, bar and cocktail lounge are all up and running, as is the viewing platform that has been pulling in punters for months - tall buildings around the world are collecting visitor revenue.

Darren Gearing, the Shangri-La's general manager, said: "The building is created largely from glass and rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows. Because of its shape, some guests may be able to get a reflection from a neighbour's room."


360 Chicago

With its 360° views, the John Hancock Building overlooking Lake Michigan in Chicago has a 94th floor observatory which first opened in 1969. The observatory was purchased in 2012 by Montparnasse 56 Group, a Paris based company that specialises in the operation and development of tourist sites. Bolstered by its success, results and financial resources, the company is implementing a policy of acquiring sites with tourist pull. The group now has four including the 56th floor and panoramic terrace of the Montparnasse Tower in Paris, the Berlin TV Tower, Crocodile Zoo and Nature Preserve in the south of France and 360 Chicago.

Opposite the John Hancock Building is the Willis Building or Sears Tower as many still call it. This has a 103rd floor, money making observation deck. So to compete John Hancock offer tours, a bit of history and now the Tilt a window with room for eight that (as its name suggests) tilts users over the edge of the building's already established viewing platform.

Watch here as the attraction is featured on America's today programme


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Article written by Brian Shillibeer


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